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David is made king.

1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David, unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

2 And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.

3 Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.

4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.

5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.

6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.

8 And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.

9 So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.

10 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.

11 And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.

12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.

13 He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.

14 And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance. LECTURE 649.

7 And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.

The authenticity of Scripture.

The account of the death of Saul, given in the last chapter, and a great part of that which follows relating to David's history, is to be met with in the books of Samuel. And in like manner the history of the second book of Chronicles runs parallel to the history of the two books of Kings. The comparison of these two series of history forms a profitable occupation for the devout student of holy Scripture. For whilst the worldly wise are apt to stumble at each apparent difference between these two

portions of the sacred record, the faithful reader will be thankful for the opportunity of verifying the facts of sacred history, out of the mouths of two independent witnesses. Any actual disagreement which we meet with, is no more than can be readily accounted for by the fact, that for nearly two thousand years these books could be copied only by writing with the hand. In which pro cess so often repeated, nothing short of a miracle could have prevented those who copied out the manuscripts from sometimes writing out a word or figure wrong. As for instance, in the passage before us, the chief of the captains is said to have slain "three hundred men" at once, but in the second book of Samuel, 23. 8, it is written "eight hundred.”

On the other hand the existence of such disagreements, especially as to figures, which are most easily mistaken, proves the scrupulous fidelity with which the copies have been preserved unaltered, as far as the care of man could effect their preservation. Unintentional errors in transcribing there must have been many. Intentional alterations there can have been none. None at least can ever have been made in all the manuscripts at once, with a view to render the volume less liable to objection, on the part of scorners and scoffers. Else surely one of the first of such alterations would have been in points so obviously differing, and so easily made to tally, as the dates, and numbers, and figures, in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Points of difference like these, in the two concurrent series of history, are sure to meet the eye of the attentive observer; and could be often reconciled by one stroke of the transcriber's pen. No sect or party, in any age of the Jewish or Christian church, would have been aggrieved in their party interests by such an alteration. In the dark ages, all parties might have easily been persuaded, that such a measure would be desirable, for the better maintenance of the truth of God's most holy word. The fact therefore that it never was adopted, and that we have in these two portions of Scripture so many differences, as to dates and the like, is a proof of the most convincing kind, that no alteration was ever wilfully made in the great body of the manuscripts of Scripture, during all the ages that they were copied by writer after writer; down to the time when printing made the copies too numerous to admit of their ever being thus all altered to the end of time. This is indeed a greater marvel, than it would have been to preserve the transcribers of Scripture from ever writing a word wrong by mistake: that those who ordered the transcribing should have been preserved from ever ordering it to be altered on purpose. And when we consider how many periods there have been, when rulers both in church and state have thought it meet to practise pious frauds, which are amongst the most impious of falsehoods; we shall thank God for having given us, in the volume of his word itself, this evidence that we have it without intentional corruption.

David's mighty men.

15 Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.

16 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Beth-lehem. 17 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that is at the gate! 18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drewwater out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD, 19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

20 And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.

21 Of the three, he was more honourable than the two: for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.

22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. 23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's

hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's band, and slew him with his own spear. 24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had a name among the three mighties. 25 Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

26 Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,

27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,

28 Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite, 29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,

30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,

31 Íthai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,

32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, 33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

34 The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,

35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, 36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,

37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,

38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri, 39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,

40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the ma and Jehiel the sons of HoIthrite, than the Aroerite,

41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,

42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,

43 Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,

45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,

46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,

47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel

44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Sha- the Mesobaite. LECTURE 650.

Of zeal in Christ's service.

The catalogue of David's mighty men is here set down in connexion with his appointment to the kingdom at Hebron, ver. 3, and with his taking "the castle of Zion, which is the city of David." Ver. 5. These circumstances are mentioned by Samuel, at the commencement of his second Book, ch. 2. and 5; whilst the list of the mighty men is at the end of it. Ch. 23. In the latter passage we meet with this same extraordinary instance of the zeal and courage of the three of David's captains, who, at the first expression of his wishes, "brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David." They stayed not to question, Why should David wish to drink of this water in particular? They hesitated not to brave the danger of breaking through the host of the enemy. It was enough for them to know, that they might gratify the wish of him, whom they honoured as their sovereign. This prompted them to run all risks, rather than not fulfil his wish. This alone in their eyes was enough to justify them, in running this great risk for so small an object. Let us apply this to the case of our own allegiance to the Son of David, our Saviour, and our King. Is there in us, as there ought to be, such devoted love, such ardent desire to fulfil his will, that it can make us count our lives not dear unto ourselves, whensoever we are called upon to expose them for his sake? Do we listen for the first expression of his wishes, and then hasten to fulfil them to the utmost of our power; at all risk, whether it be of life, or fortune, or credit in the world, or of whatsoever makes life most pleasant in our eyes? Alas, many stay to reason and to ask, Why should this or that service be required? Many instead of acting on the slightest hint of duty, would explain away, if possible, the most broad commandment. Let us learn from David's captains, if we would be numbered amongst our Lord's most faithful soldiers, to be quick in interpreting his good pleasure, and to be vigorous and courageous in accomplishing it. Let us rather err with them, in excess of zeal, than fall short in faith and love. And let us apply herein the words of our Lord Himself: "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Matt. 10. 39.

Of them that followed David.

1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.

2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin. 3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite, 4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,

5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,

7 And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. 8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,

11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,

12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,

13 Jeremiah the tenth, Mach

banai the eleventh.

14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.

15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the vallies, both toward the east, and toward the west. 16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.

17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers: for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band. 19 And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnab, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the

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